December 30, This day during the American Civil War

December 30, 1862 – in Carter’s Depot, Tennessee – On December 30, Brig. Gen. Samuel P. Carter and a portion(150 men) of his brigade of Union raiders headed off to Carter’s Depot, also known as Carter’s Station. The depot was 10 miles south of Union. It had a significant railroad landmark and stood at the northern end of the 400ft-long Watauga Bridge. Carter’s Depot was a major refueling and telegraph stop on the railroad line. A company of the 62nd North Carolina Infantry (130 men), commanded by Col. Robert G.A. Love, were responsible for the defense of the depot.When Carter’s men entered town, they met the Confederates. A brief skirmish took place in the late afternoon between the two sides. The end of the fight came when a Union cavalry charge broke the Confederates center. This collapse of the line forced the Confederates to retreat.Carter ordered his men to soak the wooden bridge and set fire to it. The bridge was over the Holston River and spanned some 600ft. After the bridge was destroyed, the Federals also destroyed the town’s railroad depot, a nearby wagon bridge, 3 railroad cars filled with Confederate supplies, telegraphic equipment, and more than 700 muskets and rifles. The Federals then burned the railroad depot, a cache of supplies, and torched the bridge. The bridge collapsed while a Confederate train was on it.

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